Information Security in Healthcare

Contributed by James Edwards

Information Technology (IT) security has come into the spotlight in the healthcare industry recently due to the healthcare reform that is taking place with the introduction of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Changes are being made to IT security in the healthcare industry because there is a big push from the government to move all patient records to an electronic format, and to give patients access to their records from anywhere in the world. We are in the middle of a healthcare reform that will bring the healthcare industry into the 21st century. This change will be similar to the reform that took place in the financial industry. Almost everyone accesses their banking information online, or with a mobile device, and there is a push for healthcare to move in the same direction1. Also, during the financial reform, many policies and procedures were created around physical and IT security, and many regulations, like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, were enacted to help keep sensitive banking information safe. The healthcare industry has the HITECH act, as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that helps protect patient information.

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